In all seriousness, this is the perfect opportunity to do a little reflecting on the challenge and lessons learned. Get on your reading glasses - here we go with a super fun list!
- My love of cooking and baking mostly healthy fare for my family and friends has not diminished, nor has my obsession with recipes. As you may remember, I was already cooking dinner 4-5 nights a week when schedules allow because I think it is important to do the whole healthy eating/family meal thing, and my commitment to clean/healthy family food has not and will not waver.
- The course of the challenge has introduced us to several new foods and some new cooking techniques.
- That being said - I still tend to gravitate towards the same kinds of recipes. If I had more motivation, I'd actually go through and count how many versions of chicken fingers, stir fries and sloppy joes I've made during the past year.
- I started this blog as an accompaniment to the challenge as I wanted to use it as a learning mechanism for professional development (ugh -really with that sentence?!). After doing this for a year, I completely appreciate now more than ever the time and effort a truly successful blog takes, and I also completely realize that I have zero desire to create a truly successful blog. It's totally OK by me for my readership to mainly consist of my family and friends when they remember to read it (i.e., I tell them to check the blog).
- I seriously want to kick people who compare this effort to Julie & Julia. Not. Even. Close.
- I love kale and have been eating it 4-5x/week for the past several months.
- I am pretty much the worst food photographer in the world.
Q: Am I going to continue with the challenge?
A: After discussing it with the boys tonight, we decided that I will continue with the challenge, but will allow for exceptions/favorites. For example, the kid has been begging for a specific meatball recipe since I last made it (around Thanksgiving), and there are a couple of dishes I love that I would like to add back into the rotation. We all like the spirit of the challenge, and since my recipe collecting obsession is not slowing down, I will continue to try my best to select new recipes each week to try.
Q: Am I going to continue the blog?
A: To be honest, I don't know. The blog has been a bit of a challenge because I find it to be a little repetitive and often times the last thing I want to do after long days that usually start at 4:30a or earlier. If I keep it going, I don't want to half-ass it, but I just don't know that it's really worth it. So, I will give it some more thought. I bet you won't sleep until I make this all-important decision.
Q: Will my obsession with The Beatles ever end?
A: No. It's been 24 years and I'm still going strong.
Amazing. I have nothing more to add. Listen to the guitar riffs. And listen then listen to it again and again and again like I do.
As for the food: With tonight being the one-year anniversary, I took a look at the first recipe I made for the challenge - Buttermilk Pecan Chicken from Health magazine - and went for something similar - Spicy Pecan Popcorn Chicken with Creamy Buttermilk Ranch Dip from EatingWell. I am not typing it out because this blog is already way too long and I don't feel like it, but the boys gave it a gold medal.
Thanks for the support...